can you tell if your nutrition program is balanced? If you are not
using soil analysis to choose fertilizers, or have not examined the
status of all of the nutrients, chances are that your program is off
of the common symptoms of a poor nutrition is low productivity
and/or crop quality that cannot be explained. There are no pests,
diseases or moisture problems, environmental conditions are good,
land preparation and weed control are done properly, but the crop
consistently produces below its potential. The problem could be due
to nutrient problems even though no deficiency symptoms are visible.
related symptom is a gradual decline in yield over several years.
Again, everything is being done properly, but the yields are not
even close to what they were when the land was first cultivated.
this decline occurs with only one crop or one family of crops, it
may be due to a buildup of some soil-borne pest or disease. If most
crops perform poorly in that field, then there you should
re-evaluate your nutrition program.
pest and disease problems are another symptom of imbalanced
nutrition. If your field is especially susceptible to pests and
diseases or you are experiencing outbreaks of infections that
normally should not affect that crop, your plants may be under
stress. You should have the situation evaluated by professional crop
protection personnel, but remember that nutrient stress is a major
cause of this type of problem.
analysis (and sometimes plant tissue analysis) by a competent
laboratory that produces accurate analytical and interpretive data
is the fastest and most economical way of getting your fertility
program on track.